Sunday, September 21, 2014

What happens to the time? I should still be July............

Sorry lovelies. Haven't made the blog a priority as of late. Been motivated in other areas. But today is Sunday and everyone else is otherwise entertained, Joe is at work, Shelley and the grands are going back to the State Fair for the last day and so I thought I'd take a moment or two to catch up with those of you who are still out there.

I'll begin with my activities. I've been recycling a junk store find and it has taken me lots longer than I anticipated but I am truly enjoying myself, doing things I haven't done in years. I found a doll house that someone had slapped together and then abused. When I first spied it I knew immediately it would make a great Halloween decoration. I didn't count on the fact that the pink, blue and peachy yellow of the slap job painting on the walls and exterior would be so difficult to cover. But now I know.

I also didn't really count on the fact that my hands are not small. Trying to wallpaper the walls around the staircase and under an overhang up in the attic proved to be, well let's just say I took it slow and in little increments of time. Otherwise this old broad's shoulders and neck went into spasm from the contortions I put myself into to reach all the spaces.

But at the conclusion of the wallpaper and floor coverings, as well as the exterior paint job and installing lighting, I was pleased. I am not going to show you pictures of the "Halloween House", until I finish putting the furnishings and fun into it. I should be finished in about a week. As usual, I took no before pictures but everytime I look at my little Halloween House it makes me happy.

Now to the Cuckoos in the Casa.

We've been doing the clean-up in the yards and are almost ready for cold weather. Since our "garden experiment" brought limited return, we are placing the remaining bales of straw on the south side of the house in hopes that next year we can use them for growing corn. Water wasn't our difficulty, lack of extended sunshine was the culprit. So being on the south side will help with that. The bales that decomposed will be spread on the upper garden and rototilled into the ground soonest so that we can watch for turtles while they are still up stomping around the yard. Making plans for next years garden almost makes the failure of this year's tolerable. But it's all a learning experience, yes?

Going to take some orphan blue, white and blue/white plates, bowls and saucers, glue them together with caulking and afix them to a wall off the backporch where the swing is located and make a "flower garden" of those pieces. Found the idea on facebook and knew I had to spruce up my garden wall. Sweet Man is still skeptical (if truth be told, tolerant would have to be the word) but what a trooper, he will help me with my insanity anyway. Here is the picture of my inspiration from FB and I'll take photos of the delft color flower garden when we get it completed.



Ry is back on some meds that his doctor took him off of back six months ago. The difference in his personality and his ability to be present in the moment is profound. He has been such an unhappy little critter. Very hard on himself and frustrated with so many aspects of his life. But with the new/old meds, he is back to his "inside, outside, upside down" philosophers position and full of himself. We are all so happy for him. He is too. Yesterday, chore day, instead of just standing around and having to be directed, he got up, got his chores done and then asked if there was anything else Pop or I needed help with because he got done early. It was a delight to see him so pleased with himself. He even put together a dinosaur model (something he had no patience for prior to being back on the meds) that he got this summer. We all remarked about his happy level yesterday and he told us that his "slow clone" has now gone somewhere else to live and the "in the moment" RyLeigh has rejoined Casa de Cuckoo.

And so we come to the other cuckette. GK got bit by her boyfriend's python yesterday. Yep, the donkey whisperer apparently does not hold sway over serpents. As she explains it, and it is hilarious, there she was holding the snake in her left hand and it was reaching out to sniff when it coiled back and then struck her right hand. She said she saw it coiling and wondered what it was going to bite but didn't think it was her.........duh! She shook her bitten hand and fussed at the snake to let go. Then she turned to her boyfriend, who by this time was almost hysterical and told him to take his stupid snake off of her hand. Only GK. His mom came in the room and immediately took her to wash off the bite and console GK. But GK didn't want to act like it really bothered her so they got the toned down version of a melt down from her, a quivering chin and wells of tears in her eyes. Amazing what one can do when you don't want to make a fool of yourself in front of his family.

BTW, her boyfriend and his family are so terrific. We are very lucky that is the case. The two loveys spend most of their time with either us or them. It is sweet and kinda cute. They really act like they are much younger than they are in many ways but I think "nerdy" kids do that. They still have a play gene left activated in their hearts, at least these two nerds do. They enjoy watching "SpongeBob" and know every word, both love Frozen, also Kingdom Hearts and Soul Eater. Both are very book smart and enjoy challenging each other to "knowledge off" questions, play on words, etc. This is the young man who made the statement about her being too cute to be in the advanced math class at the beginning of the year. I can't figure out if that was the stupidest remark or the best pick up line ever. Whatever the case, they are darling together. Nerdlets.

 

Joe has been busy here at home taking information from our last three computers off and capturing our pictures and documents. We then will recycle the clunkers and gain more storage space in the garage. It's an ongoing task to try to give up our "hoarding" ways. We are doing our nesting and getting ready for colder months thing.

Speaking of that, I hope that you have a wonderful beginning to fall, autumn equinox, Mabon. We are to have rain tonight so I don't think we will have a fire in the fire pit but will celebrate with some homemade bread, broccoli cheese soup and an apple tart for supper. Wishing you all that would bring you happiness and comfort in this fall season.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Happy early September to all of you..........

Hope you all survived the summer rains, temps and bugs. Also hope that you are looking forward to Fall. I sure am.

Every year I say I am not going to wax on about how I love autumn, fall, but I must....otherwise I shall burst. I love this time of year.

Fall just seems to be a time of hurry up and get ready. The two weeks between Labor Day and the first day of fall just offer dramatic changes in light, temps and smells that no other change of season offers. I love what we used to call (totally un PC) Indian Summer. Crops are tumbling out of the gardens, sunlight has more of a golden cast to it and my homing instincts are kicked into high gear. It is also a time of festivals of celebration. Harvest, bounty and getting ready for colder times all are part of this lovely time of year.

Last late winter, I told you all of an experiment that I was undertaking with strawbale gardening. We set up our gardens in specific arrangements according to the crops that we were anticipating. We did all the prep work of nitrogen soaks, added the topsoil and mulch, kept the bales damp, then we planted our seedlings that we took care to carefully chose, plant, nurture and prepare. And watched as every single one of our "babies" died. We had started tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantalope, pumpkin, onions, and none of those made it in the bales. We then dropped back 15 yards and planted some seeds, some purchased plants and watered on.

While some of the seed sprouted and some of the purchased plants survived, most did not. What we were left with in mid June was tomatoes, sunflowers, cantalope vines that never set fruit, watermelon that followed suit and pumpkins that looked fabulous in June and were gone in July. We did have cucumbers planted by the front entrance to the patio in the front yard but they never tried too much, only a couple.

When I purchased the watermelon plants, I only had room for two and there were four plants so I planted one in the whiskey barrel in the front porch which is shaded with shade cloth, never thinking that the plant would do anything.....but we have a watermelon there, the size of a soccer ball. When we first spotted it, the whole Cuckoo clan a happy dance.  At last we had something for our efforts. Ry suggested that it grew because it is close to the gratefulness tree. Could be. There is magic in the gifting of others in that ladder.

Shortly after, the tomotes started developing fruit on their plants instead of just flowers. And now we have an abundance of yellow cherry tomatoes, Black Prince tomatoes and the wonderful Beefsteak beauties that Sweet Man loves so much. Slow start to our harvest, but at least we have one.

So this morning I made yellow cherry and Black Prince tomato jam, er marmalade. As a youngster my Daddy Jack (maternal grandfather) always had cherry tomato jam in his pantry when we would visit him in Tennessee. I looked for years to find a recipe for one that came close to his jam. This year I found one not that I grew the kind of red cherry tomatoes that he grew, they were tiny and bright red. But I figured I would give it a shot with what I had available.

The combination of the bright yellow and the red, green and maroon flesh of the tomato varieties I used is kinda cool looking and they were so sweet before I even made them that I knew they would be yummers. And I was not disappointed. My non tomato eating family (besides Sweet Man) are crazy about the results.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and if you give it a try, I'm sure you will be pleased, we sure are. http://faithfulnessfarm.blogspot.com/search/label/Blue%20Ribbon%20Recipes You'll need to pan down her page to find the yellow tomato marmalade.....but some of her other receipes look super too.



Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda
pssssst did ya notice I have a photo? I just gave it a try with the photo from the recipe and there it is. Wow, I can use my camera again.....Hats and Horns, lets have a party!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm back, sorta............

There is no retrograde except the one in my head.

That's what I kept telling myself anyway. First it was my computer. I tried to redownload Picasa to solve my non photo dilemma on Blogger, because I had previously paid money to expand my number of photos I could use on the account and when someone who will not be named but there technical name is IYOGI, "fixed" my computer last time, they screwed up and deleted my Picasa account. And when I did, the computer crashed. They scheduled someone to come to my house to fix the problem last week and that person never bothered to show. Today, the tech was great.

Then my phone went gone off the deep end. I can't get any bars at my house and therefore, no calls. But, I get text messages and I get calls from India/Paskistan (the land of IYOGI) and England. Go figure.

Then my car's engine light went on as I was taking GK to school. And it limped back home that morning on a lot of "oh, please, oh please".

Got the car fixed, the phone is to be executed this weekend when we change carriers and a really nice man came out to reboot my computer today. He turned out to be a gem. Gave me all kinds of insight into my computer and how to manage some things I wasn't taking care of. Wow. Things got fixed very quickly after a two week wait.

I had just begun to feel like the plague of the last few months had lifted and then the electronics in my life kinda spit up on me a little. But nothing that couldn't be handled with a little frustrated cursing and swearing........and patience. All's well that ends well.

So hi lovelies....the Olde Bagg is back.....knock on wood.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

2014 School year has begun..............

sorta sounds like "gentlemen start your engines", right?


I promised I would update you on the state of the Cuckettes and so here it is, all the info that you did and didn't want.


Backing up just a little, cuz goodness knows I can't just start at the start without some background to color up the story and give you the reader some insight. Ry has been going to a summer program now for 4 years. He has had mixed results from being involved as has his sister. You'll recall that Ms. Gerea was to have gone to work as a junior counselor but the city changed the rules to the game they call Parks and Rec so the summer job was not to be for her. Had she been there the outcome of his summer may have been quite different. And yet, everything happens for a reason.


Ry's time at summer program was up and down and he got to where he didn't want to go. We investigated and found out that he was getting into physical altercations with another kid and he was blamed for the encounters. Now mind you, we know that he is capable of being a "rathead" and wanted to know what the tussle was about. Well, the adult (and I use the term loosely) couldn't tell us what was happening to cause the problem. We asked then if that was the case, how could she blame Ry for the problem. She said because the other little boy told her. ??????????????? When asked if she had asked Ry what the problem was, the only thing she told us was, "no". ??????????????


Ry had spent almost a week in the office by himself as his punishment. When we asked how program was every day when we picked him up, he'd say okay. After finding out, by a fluke of conversation with said almost adult, we asked Ry why he hadn't told us. He said he preferred to stay by himself instead of getting kicked and hit. And so would I have chosen the drawing and being alone but that's when we had him stay home. Not that that was a lot of fun either because I wasn't well enough to entertain or take them anywhere. But he made it through the summer alive albeit not happy like he has been in years past.


So the first day of school was filled with trepidation and worry. That kid doesn't even go to his school. But still Ry was really all over the place with his actions and his ticks. He was trying to contain his feelings but it was not working. His teaching team found out about the summer incident from the director of the program and made sure he was physically safe and encouraged him to play with his friends. It has been three weeks now and he is still not gotten past the anxiety. We are hoping that he will of course but in the mean time we are meeting him where he is.....in the moment, with encouragement and as much normality as we can have for him.


Ms. G started high school on Tuesday.  The school she is attending is a charter school, Digital Arts Training Academy. The school offers computer, technical, drama and production of film making as well as the other disciplines needed to work in film. These kids are given the opportunity to receive college credit for their work, get their feet wet in the film industry here in New Mexico (the students have been included in "In Plain Sight", "Breaking Bad" "The Lone Ranger" and other Hollywood productions) and are required to  have a film project every year as part of their finals. She went on a field trip to this school last year and it was just like a light bulb went off and it was where she wanted to go to high school. They will learn to do digital art as well as traditional art, computer programming and writing code, being in front of and behind the camera. It is just so diverse and I would say so G.


She was so spastic elastic on Tuesday....stemming much like her brother with fear that she would fall down and embarrass herself......you know the typical fears of a freshman. Tuesday was Jump start day for freshman and I think they were all feeling a little out of place. Of course her main fear was that she wouldn't know anyone except her best friend and wouldn't make friends. Both of those statements were false by days end. She already knew at least 6 kids and by the end of the day she had many more kids she made friends with. That girl attracts nerdy boys, cute boys, goth boys, oh hell, she just attracts boys. So at end of day she was a happy camper and quite fond of her school.


Oh to be 14 and so vain. Adorable but ego centric as is the normal attitude for 9th grade girls anyway but Ms. G takes it to a whole 'nother level.


Yesterday was all grades back to school and once again her nerves got the best of her. She is confident but only a little until she gets her footing. I guess we all are in some repects. I think she thought the sophs, jrs. and srs. would gobble her up or something but all went well.


She has one class that is not just freshmen. Her advanced placement math class also includes sophomores. On Tues. there were only 4 freshmen in the class, G and 3 boys. One boy she knew from a birthday party she attended this summer, one was in most of her classes at her last school and a new kid. The party boy said to her, "I'm surprised that you are in this class because you are so cute". She paused and then said, "well, aren't you just the little profiler? Just because I'm not a guy or ugly you think I shouldn't be here? I got the highest score on the math placement test given to the incoming freshman that the vice principal had ever seen." To which he said, "that's a lie". G then had her friend from her last school explain to party boy, just how bright she is. He told party boy, "she is a stone cold genius and a hot chick too." And G said, "so there Mr." and snapped her fingers. Gotta love an attitudinal chick in her nerd environment. And now of course he is her "bit&&".


This morning she could hardly wait to get to school and hang out with her new friends.


I hope that both of them will settle in and have a good school year. School always has an interesting beginning.


So that's the tale of the Cuckettes.


Hope you all have a super weekend, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Sunday, August 10, 2014

It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all........

Thanking Lord Tennyson for his word smithing, I am starting a new series of reflections on the animals that have graced and expanded my world. I'm sharing these with you in short bursts so I hope you will catch all the bits and pieces.


A friend of mine, Jan of Laughing Dog Arts did a lovely tribute piece of art to one of her much loved dogs and I was so moved by her work and her thought in doing the work, I began to gather my thoughts and harvest my memories of the animals that have brought me to this point in my life.


Anyone who has ever loved an animal also knows that there is an ending to our relationship with them. The endings are sometimes not easy or pleasant but these events also have molded my life and loves. I must add without the love and friendship of these animals, I know that I would not have the mind set that I do, nor would I know what loving and losing is really all about, both of which I believe are vital parts of being a human with compassion and humility. I have been blessed by the knowing of each one of my beasties and would not change anything.


I'll begin with the first pair of animals that Sweet Man and I were owned by. The first was a dachshund cross that won my heart as Shelley in her stroller and I cruised the mall in Westminster Colorado. He had the dachshund markings on his sweet black and tan body but he had the longer legs and wagginess of a whatever else his heritage may have been. Herbie was a riot of fun and just the right companion for a three year old Shelley. He was energetic, loved to be dressed up, followed his girl everywhere and was always up for game of fetch. Shelley adored him and he did her as well. He had the most remarkable sparkling eyes that spoke volumes.


When we moved back to Albuquerque from the Denver area a few months later, Shelley voiced a desire for a kitten. We had read a book about a white kitten that needed a home and I am sure that is what influenced her choice. So, I being the obedient Mom went in search of an all white kitten. I expected that it would be hard but the stars were in alignment because in less than one week I had located someone who had white kittens.


We went to this persons house (every time we drive by there, one or the other of us will always say, "that's where we got the white tornado") and there were at least 3 litters of all white kittens roaming the living room of the house. Needless to say, I felt like we were rescuing whichever one we chose. Less than desirable living arrangements would be a vast understatement. Also, I had no idea that all white animals sometimes can have recessive gene disorders like being sterile, deaf or having other health problems. These kittens were all kinds of crazy and when we made our final choice, we had a helluva time getting said kitten to the car and home. He was a crafty little devil. Got out of the carrier, raced around the car and just a suddenly as the white storm had hit, he found Shelley's lap and laid down and slept the rest of the way home. Cricket was so sweet......sometimes, but he never lost his white tornado attitude. He was always his own master and marched as he saw fit and if that included the rest of us, so be it but if it was a cat day, then humans just stand back.


The meeting of Herbie and Cricket was the funniest, most side splitting laugh filled moment I can remember ever. I very much wanted to do the right thing in separating the two and letting them get used to each other but they had something quite different in mind. Herbie took one look at Cricket and the games were afoot. But don't feel sorry for Cricket because even though he was only a 6 week old kitten, remember he came from crazyville and was used to being chased. They ran and ran and played and ran some more. We just sat back and watched the show. They raced up walls, I kid you not, and under furniture and around the house until they finally neither one had chase left in them. At which point they fell asleep together in Herbie's bed. And that didn't change until the day Herbie left home.


When we would let Herbie out to go potty, most times he would come running back in to play with Shelley or the cat. But on occasion he would high tail it over the fence and just run. Always scared the crap outta me. I would get in the car and roam the neighborhood looking for him. Most of the time, I found him at McDonald's or he would be on the doorstep when I got home. He just loved Mickey D fries. He would dance for them when we brought fries home. One day, I went looking for him and he was no where to be found. I searched for days and then weeks, did all the things one does when you lose a pet. I always hoped that someone thought he was a stray and just took him home. This is before chipping your pet.


Cricket looked for his racing buddy too. Herbie was only 4 when he went for his last French fry run.
Cricket got into so many cat fights. This was before I had good sense and had only indoor cats. Every time he would come home with a "boo boo" he would just flop himself down on the bathroom floor expecting me to be his care giver. I tended to his wounds and the vet and I had a standing joke about the fact that Cricket must be a voyeur because having been fixed he had no reason for being there he just came to watch the action. He always got bit in the butt and I lanced my share of bottom wounds, that's for sure. Cricket also had "kitty acne" infected chin hair follicles and weekly then needed tending to. I'm sure they itched. It must have been a crazy sight to see me popping pimples on the chin of that cat. And the weirdest part is that he never fought me on any application of anything. He was an oxymoron walking. Wanted all things his way but never fought help when it came. He was a stranger than fiction animal. Would climb into the animal control truck and wait for Steve. We were on first name basis because Steve said he couldn't in good conscience take in an animal who was as strange as Cricket. The cat also climbed into a repairman's truck and went to spend the night in Las Lunas. I am amazed that the man brought him back but he did. Charmed life I guess. He would come home with lipstick and mascara on him from some little girl playing with him like Shelley did when she was little and we never knew who. Got banned from the house next door because he would go in and nap with their cat on their bed. Would hear me call him and ignore me while laying in the yard next door. He was a brat cat of the highest order.


Now Sweet Man has never been a cat person. But Cricket made his decision about SM. SM would become his human after we moved into our new house. The cat would sit on SM's chair and wait for him to come home every evening at 5:30 or if Cricket was busy doing something else, all SM had to do was call "son" and here came the white beastie to be with his man. The two were fast and true friends in no time at all. Cricket was an excellent instructor and expected nothing less than total obedience from his students.


Cricket went on in life to train two St. Bernard puppies, see Shelley into High School and kept us in line until he was 13. He had a terrible habit of laying down in the gutter in the street in front of our house. He just did no matter what we did to dissuade him, he must have liked the view of the road. And one day a kid in a red Mustang pulled onto the wrong side of the road, aimed for him and got him.
Both of those animals taught me love,  patience, particularly with Herbie and his running off, and endurance. They were my first foray into what since them has become a self talk I do when faced with the "opportunity" to go into relationship with another animal. "This relationship will bring me more love than longing and I will be better for it".
That has never not been true.



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

People always talk about the weather...............

And so shall I.


Here in the desert southwest, rain is never a given, it is always a happy event and most of the time a surprise. We have over the course of the past few weeks received more rain here in parts of Albuquerque and the state than we did in the all of the last two years.


Back when I was a kid (when the dinosaurs roamed the earth), there would be always be floods for those of us who lived close to the Rio Grande River. That's why they call it a flood plain. Also if you lived in some areas of town and your street ran perpendicular to the mountains you had a ready made asphalt creek when the rains came right in front of your house. Spent many a summers evening running down our street with all the neighbor kids playing in the water.


We have had flash flood warnings every night for a week now. Parts of our downtown areas were completely flooded and many of the manholes popped off from the pressure of the flood waters and streets torn up from the rushing water. These are all not normal events for us. I've lived here all my life and can only remember a handful of times that we have had to battle really bad floods that have overrun the flood channels that were built in the 1960's. But we do have an extensive flood control, rapid water rescue units and water divergent systems in place because we are in close proximity to the Sandia and Manzano Mountains. So even if we don't get rain here in the metro, if it's raining in the mountains there is a flood danger. But the past several years we have been in a drought and many had forgotten the danger of rushing water.


Oh we have what is jokingly referred to as our monsoon season which is the month of July thru the first couple of weeks of August. And it always rains a couple of days during the state fair in September. But our normal rainfall is maybe 5" a year (in a good year), we had 5" of rain for the month of July and the first week of August has brought another 4" already.


In other words we are damp, even humid. It's a real game changer. Muggy is a word I don't normally use. Our swamp coolers are a joke, and quite frankly it isn't a funny one. But I am not complaining cuz what good would that do anyway). Rain has brought all kinds of interesting things to our doorstep. Big ole bugs, plants finally growing in the yard, including the tomatoes finally doing something, also weed seeds that probably would never have survived are plentiful all around town. We are green. Now that's a city of a different color. And a very nice surprise. I'm sure there are those who got the brunt of the floods that would not have the same view of this event and for them I am sorry, but for us, we have experienced mostly good things.


I say mostly because we a have pee problem. No not the humans, the dogs. No not the dogs, the dog. Ellie Mae Scootles formerly of the Tohajale'/Route 66 Casino area of NM, a foundling dog who has forgotten just how lucky she is to not still be in a diesel repair shop where we got her, has taken to refusing to pee outside. Rather she sits on the back porch and just whines because she doesn't want to get her feet wet. She then comes inside, goes under Shelley's bed and pees there. What a charmer.


I remember telling all of you how I would have to shovel a path in the snow for our Priscilla, St. Bernard DIVA because she also didn't like to get her feet wet. But I don't know how to dry grass or dirt. I even encouraged her to do her business on the concrete under the shelter of the porch but Ellie acts like she has forgotten English and only speaks her Native American language from whence she came. Bless her pointed head.


So there you have it, the report from Casa de Cuckoo. Next time I'll tell you how the new school year is progressing for the boy grand, how GK is getting ready for High School (oh damn) and other stuff about our lives.


Be well my friends, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Here's a little happiness list................

Enough already with the meme letting goes. I wanted to claim the good things, the fun things, the things that brought a smile to my face when I recall them so about 3 weeks ago I started a happiness list. Some of these are little blasts from the past that make me giggle, some a big old guffaw moments and some are insane moments in time that I never will forgot. Now these are not to be confused with momentous things that I have had happen in my life that have given me happiness those are on a whole other list.




Starting when I was very young.....



I loved to "snuffle" my cat, still do. Put my face into their soft fur and wriggle my head just slightly and listen to the reciprocal purr. Not all cats are snufflers!!!!



Climbing trees as high as I could and pondering how cool would it be to stay that tall.



Eating watermelon right off the vine while it's still warm from the sun. Same with a beautiful ripe tomato.



Fishing and whispering with my Daddy Jack (grandfather).




Going to the ranch and getting to "play" with the farm animals and helping my Aunt Sallo and Uncle Alfonso with chores which sometimes taught me more that I had bargained for. Learning to make jams, empanadas and tortillas.




Hiding under the house in a crawlspace and thinking I had found the best hidey hole in the world.


Catching toads and keeping them in the backyard. They were everywhere. I love the way their skin feels.




Living close to the director of the zoo and getting to feed and handle baby animals that came to his house before going into the zoo. My favorites were a baby seal....in his bathtub and a baby lion who was so little but very strong.


Learning to drive and getting the car turned backwards in the driveway by doing a K turn and watching the expression on my friends face.


Singing in the talent show in 8th grade and dressing up as an old lady. The song I sang was "Too Young to Go Steady". The adults thought it was funny, my peers just didn't get it. Too bad, I had a blast.


Putting my sorority sisters in a cage at the zoo as a prank.


Finding money I hid in a cigar box when we first moved into this house in 1961, last year. I had written a note to some random boy and there were other silly preteen mementos in the box as well.


This is an abbreviated list because I didn't want you to have to live through all my rantings but these are representative of my early happys.


Making you smile with me as I think of happy instead of anything else. It's the best. xoxo Oma Linda

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Forgiveness came just in the nick of time..................

Well once again it has been a long time since I posted.


I have been on a mentally healthy vacay from my normal life. It has been a hard journey, and I'm not finished yet, clearing away the flotsam of the past which is blocking the sailing on to the new one.


Looking back is something I have done all my life. I thought it was healthy to look back and then move on. What I didn't know was that I was looking back, hitching up the junk and hauling it on towards a future that I couldn't possibly fit all this crap into. I obviously was moving on with more than I would ever be able to carry and be healthy.


For those who have read my blog in past years, you know that my Mom and I didn't exactly have a golden relationship. She was of a generation that didn't dare spare the rod and spoil a child. This beautiful woman who I thought had all of her "stuff" together and who talked a good game of being independent and self assured was in fact a flawed human like the rest of us. I spent most of my life being afraid of her anger, terrified I would disappoint her and saying I'm sorry. Now don't get me wrong, I know was sent to my Mom's life to teach her patience, loyalty, loving kindness and to show her that not all children fit into a mold. I must have been a million nights of no sleep for her. I do know that to my face I was a huge disappointment to her and yet she bragged about who I was to so many people. She just didn't know how to say she cared.


I guess you can say that the Ms. Karma served me up for a woman who wouldn't (couldn't) communicate, reach out in a tender way, had a narrow sense of humor and wanted perfection not only in herself but in everyone else around her, most especially her children. Poor woman, never did understand my loud, boisterous, sometimes off color humor and lust for living. She also didn't see a child who needed so much more hugging and loving than she was able to give. The worst part is that she pitted her children against each other for attention. So that has left us estranged from each other all our lives. On her death bed she made my sister and I (my brother had already passed away) promise to not lose track of each other. But of course with years of hurt, we did.


Now I'm not saying any of this but for one reason and that is to clarify not the why of my guilt or my behaviors but rather to say that it is what it is.....my truth.


So when the doctors prescribed the exact same course of drugs for my breathing difficulties as my Mom had had because of her COPD, I literally lost my shit. Of course the prednisone fueled that fire and I ended up as close to Nutsville as I ever want to be again. But instead of staying there and keep revisiting the scene of my crime, I got help and have dug my head out long enough to say that I need to forgive my Mom for being less than I always wished she had been. And to begin to try to piece together my own unhealthiness with no blame or hurt. I am the cause of my own unhappiness. And yes it has always been my choice to move forward sans crapola but I didn't know that really, until now.


It is an amazing feeling to be able to look at pictures of my Mom and see what other people probably always saw, a woman with a beautiful face and soft green eyes. And I have written in my journal, many tender moments that I wouldn't allow myself, when I was in such a painful place, to bring back from the vaults of my childhood. The times when she was just exactly who I needed, a Mom.


This has also given me a chance to look at my behavior as a Mom and see the good and the bad and move on. I'm very fortunate that forgiveness of myself and others came just in the nick of time. I still have today to work on being who I have always wanted to be.......just me. And every day I get to do that is the biggest blessing I will ever receive.


There are no do overs, there are no should have beens, there are no authentic joyous life moments when you are weighted down with the hurt and pains of yesterday. So eventually you have to let it go...................hopefully before you have no todays in which to do so.


XOXO Oma Linda



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

and the sun is where, exactly????

The Land of Enchantment, alias New Mexico does not have many days when the sun does not shine at least for a few hous. As a matter of fact, they are so few and far between, I don't remember the last one.


I love days when the thunder boomer clouds start forming after lunch and then continue to grow into huge water filled wonders later in the afternoon and then give up the moisture right after dinner. That is what we call our monsoon rains. We have those two times a year. Once in July and then again when the State Fair comes a callin' in September. Or at least that's the way I remember it as a child.


In the past few years we have had the drama of the clouds, the rumbly tumbles but very little moisture and thus we have been in a drought. Still fun to sit on the west facing back porch and watch all the lightning and count the time between flash and rumble whether the teasing skies give up the rain or not.


So last night's "most all night long" rain was an oddity and ever so welcome for the plants and lawns. But this morning was a shocker. The clouds are still here, the rain is still falling, be it ever so gentle and there is no sunshine.


My max limit with no sun is 3 days.


I learned that when Sweet Man and I moved to San Francisco in the early 70's. I literally thought I would shrivel up and perish. The damp, the no sun and the ever present "gloom" was oppressive. Of course now I could relish a few days like today but back then I was less than patient or educated in the differences that are regional and geographic.

Makes me ponder how I got grown. I was so rigid and knew almost everything there was to know in my 20's, as do most with that affliction. Funny how when I look at the grands, I hope that they know  more of what I didn't and lots less of what did. More smarts, less smarty. But I know they will have what they have and muddle through their lives as I did mine learning lessons along the way that will mold them into the adults that someday will peak out from behind their child and ponder how, they too, got grown.


Think I'll take some tea out to the porch and watch my "turdley durds" scurry around the yard looking for bugs that have come out because of the rain. Nothing better than a happy turtle with a green smile on their little faces.


Hope you stop today and be thankful for getting grown. Take time to thank the child that saw you through those times. Happiness to all, Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda


and still blogger will not let me post photos.........boo

Monday, July 14, 2014

A brush with the truth..........

I am a creative person. I have most all of my life "played" at art in one form or another. I truly began the process of finding my path when I was in college. I found out quickly that painting was not my forte. I sucked at brush strokes. I could not "get" technique. But I have always longed to go back and try again. I just never have taken the time or put in the energy to do so.


But recently, the term "brush" took on a whole new meaning. I had to visit the hospital for an illness that my stubborn old self just couldn't get rid of. I had done all the things I knew to do and my husband just put his foot down and said we were going. Kicking and screaming, internally, I went. I just knew I would face another medico who would say I had a bad cold and could get what I needed in the over the counter department of my local pharmacy and pat me on my head and send me on my way as my primary care physician has done.

But that was not the case. In fact, as soon as they took my vitals and began the interview process I was rushed back to the critical care area and they put me on oxygen immediately. I was in fact very sick. Which, I must say, was almost a relief to hear someone else say. Odd how even when we know the truth it is sometimes the way it is delivered by someone else that makes all the difference in the world.

Then I met the most real person I have met in a very long time. There she was, a doctor who splits her time between Durango Colorado and Albuquerque. This just happened to be her last day in this location. How's that for the luck of the wicked? She asked questions about my life, my body, and then when we were working on the plan to implement medications she turned to me and said, "you know just in the few moments we have been sharing, I know that you are ill because of how you behave". Instead of my usual bristle to "authority", I was warmed by what she said. She continued by saying, that I am a protector, I use my heart and my body to shield those that I love and care about. And that is good and has a proper place but it was obvious that I didn't have enough of that caring and protection left to use on myself and the time had come for me to put me first. Not that I had to deny my "others" but that I must change my way of being in order to be at all.

It was like a lightning bolt that seared my soul. I knew what she was saying and I knew she was correct. I must change.

And that is what I am in the midst of doing.

I never wanted to be viewed as selfish. I never wanted to be viewed as self centered, so instead I went the other direction and gave myself away.....all the time. And it was not without cost or I must admit now, resentment.

Inside I have longed to play at arting. I have longed to do what I choose, not what is expected of me. I have yearned to find me in all of this chaos that is life. And frankly, there isn't a whole heck of a lot of time left to do so. Times a wastin'.

I have always found a reason why I could not do something because of something else that I put on myself as my duty. It will be a hard row to hoe but it must be. And those that accept it will and those that don't will look at me and wonder what happened to me. I hope someday they will understand, but if they don't, my taking time to explain wouldn't have been a good use of time anyway.

I'm off to practice the brush strokes that life has for me now. The truth is in the practice of it......at least that is what I am hoping for and trusting in.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Mad Tea Party and our apologies.............

I've already contacted the wonderful hostess of A Fanciful Twist, the lovely Ms. Vanessa Valencia and let her know the The Cuckoos of the Casa will not be participating in this Tea Party, but the weather in her Wonderland is a bit iffy right now and I just wanted to make sure that if any of you came by expecting to find us on a White Rabbit adventure that you didn't think us ill mannered or rude.


We are watching from the sidelines and send out very best Mad Tea wishes along to each of you.
xoxo Oma Linda, the Cuckettes and the critters of the Casa.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Prednisone and other fun stuff.............

I have read so many things about steroids and the whole mess you up thing that is to happen when you take these drugs, but up until my recent introduction, I had very little experience with them. Now that I must use these nasties.......I understand the craziness that they do induce.

I can go from 0 to ten thousand on the anger scale in a nano second. But I have come to realize that the anger isn't really real. It is a side effect of the drug.


The problem is, that others in my life who have experienced my already crazy mood swings don't have the same insight and when I have tried to explain this to them.....well they just chalk it up to yet another crazy component to my new reality. They do so well at understanding.


I've  begun cleaning out the corners of my mind and heart. Nasty spaces some, inhabited by decade old junk and flotsam. Time to through out the baby with the bathwater and move on towards doing what is important and useful rather than raking muck.


I also am using other drugs that have given me "better" insights. Ah, I could even wax poetic and say they have given me keys to the inner workings of my mind. I have, while drifting off to sleep, written many, many essays and stories on subjects that range far and wide. I've jotted the essence of the thoughts down on a notebook next to the bed but by the morning light, the chicken scratching gives me no clue as to my brilliance I stumbled upon in the dark time before.


I've been very weak, and very strong at the same time. It will take me a little while to regain my strength and get back to the beginning again. But in the meantime.....it should be a fun read for you.



I will try, when I can, to come back and check on each of your blogs and give you an update on my state of being.
So there, now you've been warned.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A magickal happening at Casa de Cuckoo, report 5 July 2014.........

I can only hope that you have had a sparkling good and safe 4th.


I have been away for awhile and will give explanation at a later time, but right now I have to tell you that magick has come and danced in my faery garden yet once again.


Sweet Man was out doing my watering job for me this morning in all three of growing areas. He started with the fae garden and was delighted to see something he had never personally observed but had heard about at length from me.


He saw a Momma turtle laying a clutch of gorgeous pearly white eggs into a very deep hole that she worked on through the night. By the "rockets red glare" our sweet, oldest Momma turtle went into her nesting trance and labored through the night to dig the safe hole for her eggs. By the time Sweet Man arrived to view the scene she had finished the opening and was depositing her eggs. By the time I woke up, which was fairly late for me, she had already begun the process of not only covering but tamping the soil back so that it looks as though she had never disturbed the site at all. Turtles are so talented at disguising their existence. I am always amazed at what magicians they are.


Turtle eggs laid at this time of year usually hatch in the ground, over winter and then the little ones come out in the spring. But they may be urged to come out in the fall if the weather is warm for a longer than usual length of time. All eggs in the same clutch are the same sex. If it is hot and dry, then the offspring will be male. If the weather is milder and wetter then more Momma turtles will be hatched. Only 1 out 3 eggs in the wild usually survive. In our backyard, we usually see triples or twins. But we very seldom ever see where the egg hole is. Pssssst, but now we have a clue.


We have a couple of prime locations that we find baby turtles near, but this was a new location and it may be that that is why when I have planted flowers there, they never grow. But now we know and will keep watch over the new nursery.


I know it is not a thrill for many but for the Cuckoos, it was a day of jubilation and hope. Sweet Man brought me a bouquet of lavender and told me to follow him. The grin on his face was priceless. When he told the grands and they took the walk to let them see, they were so excited about the arrival of yet another group of wandering babies covered in shells.


I took no pictures. It seemed an invasion of a beautiful moment that was given to us as a family when looking towards the future with hope is the most important thing in which we can participate.


So now I've shared this magick with you and hope it brought you a smile. xoxo Oma Linda

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back to normal....well as normal as we get.......

Today marks the first time in a month that the Cuckoos were out and about in public. We went and had our nails done. I have my fingers and toes painted white and my thumbs and big toes painted red and blue. GK also did some crazy turquoise and pearlesence thing going on. I thought I would share our getting better with you. Not because it's a big deal but because I need to let you know the all clear has been sounded at the "typhoid and creeping crud house". Whew.


Mr. Ry is on antibiotics and is on the mend. GK has finished her steroids and is still weak but doing better and can actually breathe. The reason I know she's better is cuz she's got some of her snark back. Sweet Man and I are not coughing up a lung when we lay down to sleep at night and that's all a good thing. The only one in our house who wasn't sick is Shelley and I think because she works with the public everyday that she has a stronger immune system and fended off all the germs better than the rest of us.


We celebrated Summer Solstice in our traditional way with a good meal of organic yumminess and a bonfire. We added our herb bundles, enjoyed the wonderful smells and then watched the embers crumble as we watched for the tell tale sparkly lights in the shrubs, trees and in our backyard. We have been doing Fae watch for 15 years now. When Shelley was pregnant with Ms. G we began our watch. And I can't deny that I was the instigator behind our yearly practice. But, I don't have a choice now that the kids are older. They are the ones who feel the need to honor the fae, leave treats of lavender lemonade in thimbles and tiny honey cookies cut with the same thimbles and baked to fae approved wonderfulness.


I realized that for years I have been talking about our faery garden and that most of you thought I was talking about miniature plantings. Nope the north garden of our house is devoted to faery and turtles. We garden there as though it was a meadow. Wild, not tended but for watering and fertilizing. No plan, no weeding (well we do spirit away the grass in the beginning of spring for all the good that does), and sit back and watch the wonderful results that change the appearance of our faery garden every year. We find all manner of magickal things in and around our wild space and are rewarded for our endeavors with healthy baby turtles and beautiful flowers. I had to put this in here because I didn't want to mislead you about my not having a tiny space for the Fae.


I adore the spirit of love, laughter and life we share. The whole of the Cuckoo clan sitting in the dark, breathing wishes and sharing stories of years past and "sightings". I am a fortunate one to be living la vida magicas.


Did you see fairies? Smell rosemary and lavender bundles floating on the breeze? Feel a kiss and see a new freckle in the exact place the very next morning? Receive a gift from nature (tiny pinecone, crystal, flower) from the Fae? Taste the fruit of summer and smile knowing that is only a glimpse of what is to come? I hope so my lovelies. All this and much more to all of you at this beginning of summer.


Sorry, once again I was unable to post photos.....but I know you will imagine beautifully without them.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Thinking about past summer fun...........



Blogger has lost it's mind. I've been trying to post this for 3 days. Sorry no photos, and crazy spaces after paragraphs......enjoy??????


What now seems like a lifetime ago, I used to accompany middle school and high school critters to a fabulous camp down south of where we live. It is located in the Sacramento Mountains and is, well, like heaven on earth. It is so beautiful and peaceful. Yes, I did say peaceful. Even with all the goings on of the aforementioned critters there was still time for the adults to sit on the broad porches of the dormitory style rustic cabins and talk and laugh and get to know each other. We came to that camp from all over the state of NM and some parts of Texas. I will forever be grateful for my "summer camp" experiences as an adult because I was a chicken as a child and would never attend any camp. I sure missed out on a lot of crazy stuff, let me tell you from an adults viewpoint.



I don't know exactly how many of us there were at any one session but the place was crawling with activity and the camp staff managed to provide all of us with great accommodations and great food and for some a life changing experience.




I'm going to share with you the high light of the camping week. For us oldies but goodies it was the dessert on Friday night. For the critters it was the "dance". The teens were a mess as you can well imagine. And I kinda miss the teenage angst and the creativity and how they wrapped me around their grubby little fingers every time. I learned so much and most of it I can't share with you because, well....it's either gross or on the inappropriate side of life, both of which were always in easy supply at camp. But don't think I didn't have heart felt moments and a ha experiences because I did. Some of my favorite people in life were those kids, who are now grown and have kids of their own (life is lovely like that, pay back and all, tee hee).





But I am more than willing to share the Friday night dessert recipe. Apple Crisp. Not just any apple crisp but the best crisp I have ever tasted and it is so easy. Just think of 2 and you already have the amount on most of the ingredients.




For the crisp:
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 eggs, beaten






Combine the dry ingredients and whisk together (or sift if you choose). Then add the 2 beaten eggs. I always use my hands to combine the dry ingredients and the eggs. It's messy and wonderful. Mix until it looks like corn meal. Then set aside.


For the filling:
2 cans apple pie filling and pour into a 9 x 13 pan. Cover with the "corn meal" mixture.


For the topping:
1/2c sugar with 1teaspoon of cinnamon
1 to 1/2 sticks of butter melted



Pour the melted butter over the "corn meal" and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.



Bake 35 to 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven or until the top is golden brown and crunchy. Let rest for 30 minutes before scooping into a bowl. We always top ours with ice cream or whipped cream.


As you can see from the pictures I am a messy baker and I take creative license with this recipe and I use fresh, in season fruit too. This crisp has 1 lb of strawberries sliced and 1 small container of blackberries along with 5 white fleshed peaches sliced. I combine the fruit with 3/4 cup of sugar to which I have added 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste and 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract. I will bake the crisp for 30 minutes and then add almond slivers and return the crisp to the oven for 10 minutes to toast the almonds. I didn't use cinnamon sugar but rather I added  turbinado sugar. I love the crunch and the texture of the sugar and the almonds.


Every time I make this crunch I think of all the fun I had (better late than never) at summer camp.


I hope you will try this crisp with your favorite fruit. Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Monday, June 16, 2014

We're still here, sorta..............

This has been a most interesting beginning to the summer I have ever had. Two weeks ago when I last posted, I was in the depths of a horrible cold. And I still have it now, including the rib bruising cough and more mucus than I knew could ever exist in my body.

Ry finally came down with the barky cough and sneezes 5 days ago and seems to be handling it fairly well. Since he has had so many colds this last winter his immune system is stronger, I guess.

GK went to the doctor again because she still has the cold aftermath 3 weeks later and now has a sinus infection. Her temp spiked at 103.8. Yikes she was miserable. This has been 5 weeks solid that she has either been ill with the Noro virus or this creepy crud of a cold. We so ready to move on with good health.

Enough of the meme, I have had some extremely wonderful things happen during the siege of sickness. I received a surprise present from my bestie, Maddy Rose. She is such a talented sewer. Everything about her sewing is delicious. I got this wallet. It is perfection. The corduroy has a shimmer to it that does not translate well in a photo. It is so classy. Love it Ms. Maddy. Love you too for your thoughtfulness.




I also received a painting from Linda Braun. She just began watercolor classes and painted this psychedelic turtle and immediately thought of me (hmmmm do my friends know me or what???) I met Linda through another blogger years ago and when she and her husband Denny came through ABQ on a visit with his sister, we met up and had a really special visit. Linda and Denny lived full time in their RV and travelled all over the country, played golf in every state and have such rich, wonderful stories to tell. They have since settle down in The Villages in Florida and I swear, they just never slow down. It is so very wonderful to have friends and have that connectionality through the Internet. Thanks for my tie dye Turtle, Ms. Linda. This old hippy loves him very much.



I have been keeping up with the garden and getting outside before the hot part of the day comes. I'm not real happy with the state of my straw bale experiment garden. I am not used to things not needing watering every day and I think I have over watered. How is that possible in the desert? Well with the straw bales retaining so much moisture, that's how. But even though I am not pleased with the garden, the little critters that roam the garden always bring a smile to my face and give me a chuckle.

That face makes me want to sigh.....how dear is he?

Right after I took this picture Harry decided to piddle all his water on me......good for him and his only defense.

Poor little critter wasn't pleased with me showing his private area...........

As I was watering yesterday in the fairy garden, I spied this little sweetheart under the hummingbird vine. He was just sunning himself in the morning sunshine and didn't even run when I picked him up. He is probably a last fall baby who overwintered in the garden and came out this spring. He is about the size of a 50 cent piece. You can see he has no egg sac to be found on his tummy, that means he is not a spring baby from this year. Baby turtles keep a vestige of the egg sac about 6 weeks after hatching.

The grands named him, Harry Totter, because he has a lightening bolt looking mark on his top shell. I bet there are at least two more of his clutch mates hidden from sight close by where I found him, but we won't go looking for them because disturbing them too much seems to tame them down too much to survive bird and roaming cat attacks. So we'll let them be "wild" until they are older and have some protection wisdom from experience. Mother Nature is harsh sometimes but is the only teacher qualified to take care of them. I am just an interested bystander after many years of trying to "control" what happens to my turtles.

I do however spoil them rotten when it comes to food. And many of them have imprinted because of that. GK is the official turtle wrangler now and there are some young turtles that will come out when she is in the backyard and want to be fed dog food, fruit, veggies or the occasional snail treat. Even Ry has become fond of the turtles and has his favorites and is not afraid of them anymore. He even picked up my oldest turtle and moved him for Papa when they did the lawn last week.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Under the weather does not even touch this.........

It is usually Ry that gives when it comes to bringing colds, flu, stomach bugs or other illnesses home from school. But this time it was Ms. GK who shared with everyone in the house.

2nd week of May, she came home with a terrible stomach thing. You remember the school had to close down to be cleaned? Well we tried to keep her in isolation for her and our sakes, but that didn't work. We cleaned but that didn't work. We have all had at least two bouts of the crud. Poor Ms. GK and her bro can't afford to lose any weight because they are average weight, height etc, but lose weight they did.

Then last Thursday, the last day of school, GK started a barky cough and it progressed to "misery" and a high fever. And as expected, just a few days to incubate and all of the cuckoos have the barky cough and are feeling under the weather, if the weather was a giant hold you down under water pressure headache and chills and then feeling like we're having a heat wave....all within a minute or two. My muscles are so achy and I can't stop coughing. And trust me, I'd love to stop. GK is still achy, draining and barky so I guess we will be at this for sometime.

The only reason I am telling all of you this, is because June the tooth is going to come/go and we will not be showing any "pay it forward's" because....well we're under the weather....big old black storm cloud kinda weather.

The fae will appreciate us getting better before venturing out to build houses, hovels and such. We'll be back when we can stand to sit up long enough to have accomplished something.

Smooches and Squoozes (with a mask on so I don't give you this misery), Oma Linda and the other cuckoos

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

We are playing again this year...Mad Tea that is.

Vanessa Valencia has been throwing a Mad Tea Party for 7 years now.....yes 7. The grands and I have been waiting to sign up and have been gathering "mad" things ever since last year. I hope you will join us on July 12th as we slide down the rabbit hole and find our Mad Tea adventure waiting for us.

If you'd like to join in the fun just follow the link to Ms. Vanessa's dreamy blog, A Fanciful Twist and sign up for the party.


Hope to see you then.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stayin' put..............

The Cuckoos of the Casa are staying put this weekend. Never been one for a big travel weekend doings.
We will honor those that have passed on doing their duty and also those that we have lost who have made our lives what they are today. 

Sweet Man and I have a date with the garage today. Ick. But hey, the animal charities we donate to will be happy because of our latest purge of crape' from our hoarding ways. It's always an adventure to find what you didn't know you lost but don't remember you have. Or is that just me?

We almost had a need to drive to Pecos today but the need passed. GK went to school yesterday and came home with the science class fish and a crayfish they had gathered up on their field trip week before last. No she won't be going back to middle school but the science teacher asked her if she would keep the fish again this summer as she did last summer. Yippee??????? Shhhhh, not so much on my part but hey.

She and her nerd herd had talked Mr. C into letting them bring the crayfish back with them....I'm sure he thought it would die immediately (which sorta bugs me) but Reggie (that's what the wack a do's named the crayfish) died last night because of being moved again. If he hadn't, the Cuckoos would have returned him to the stream from whence he came. Now we will plant him in the fairy garden and that's that. And we will not be on the road with all the other "gotta get to somewhere to have fun on this long weekend" folks.

We've begun our weekend with a breakfast at IHOP. I swear Ry could eat then entire restaurant's supply of breakfast meats by himself. That boy is an eater when it comes to bacon, sausage and ham. And he's no slacker when it comes to pancakes either.

It's always fun to take the grands out to a restaurant. They are a riot. Both of them know every song that ever comes on the music that is played and always find something to be happy and exuberant about. They really are great kids with super attitudes. Ry has so many questions at this age about life, living and the pursuit of being in the know. So far so good on the non jaded GK. She's having a friend over for a sleep over tonight and Ry is warming up his little brother act. So wish us luck with the sleep thing.

Hope you have a wonderful long weekend. However you celebrate, be safe and we'll see ya soon.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, May 15, 2014

And school is almost over............

Oh my stars this month is just nutz. I know it is for so many of you as well. May always races past at a break neck speed, especially when you have kids in the house. So much to do, so little time to get it done.

RyLeigh's school has been on super sonic speed with all the events that have been and are to be held. I thought I'd share some of our boys achievements with you since so many of you are his loyal fans. Bless him. You have no idea how he is tickled by your comments and well wishes. It means so much to him.

You remember last year when he won Top Frog award for his third grade class? Well, the school called Shelley the day before the awards ceremony to tell her that she needed to be in attendance for it. Ry was selected by the principal as the Top Frog for the entire school. Shelley said when she got there she sort of hid behind some other adults that were standing in the field so that Ry wouldn't have a clue. And he didn't. She said he was momentarily sad when another student won for his class, but he congratulated and high fived the boy who won anyway. Then when it came to the announcement for Top Frog of the school he was relaxed and just looking to see who won. When they said his name he screamed a big Yeah!!!!!

When he got home I asked him how his day went, knowing what was going to happen. He said, "say, did you know about this when you dropped me off this morning and told me I was going to have the best day ever? I said yep, I sure did. He then gave me a biggest grin and said, "it was all part of my evil plan Oma." What a hoot. He is such a sweet caring kid and he was so very proud of himself.

Yep some evil plan young one. The principal chose Ry because for World Autism Day, Ry asked if he could go around to other classes besides his own and tell students what it was like to have Autism. His teachers went to the principal and so they let him. He did a super job talking about his ticks, his triggers and explained that he has been taken off some of the drugs he was taking that helped him some and has learned to manage his moods on his own. Talk about a winner.

And then he has had field trips, an air band show, he was the third Billy goat gruff in a play, and tonight he is in a concert. Much too much but the family will be there for this event as well. After school is out in a week, he will be home for two weeks and then start his summer program, which he absolutely loves. Busy kid, happy life.

And then there is Ms. GK's hectic schedule.

She took the entrance exam at the charter high school she chose and earned the highest points on the exam that the vice principal who gave her the test, had ever seen. She is in like Flynn needless to say.

She was home ill with a Noro virus week before last. 60% of the students at her school were sick on the same day and the health department closed the school down and ordered a deep cleaning which took two days. And unfortunately she had a relapse yesterday. Lucky for her, she is better today.

They had 3 OSI's (field trips) last week, one to release the trout into a stream up north of Santa Fe, that her class had been growing and then finals this week. She has a band concert tomorrow night, and a vocal recital on Sunday. Graduation from the 8th grade will be on Weds next.

And then GK and I have part of the summer to work on art projects, keep the garden going, canning and short trips to historical sites. The girl loves to see the native culture in our area and we will be immersed in pueblo culture this summer. We even have a very special kiva ceremony that we were invited to up north in July. GK will also be taking a college course again this summer so that should keep her busy.
They should still be this little, but...................they aren't.
And gone are the days when a new "bucket of bubbles" and some new water toys were the highlight of the beginning of summer. Both the grands are looking forward to sleeping late and making pancakes on the grill with home made blueberry syrup. I don't know how we started that for the first day of summer vacation but they both are like the keepers of the traditions at Casa de Cuckoo and whoa be to anyone who forgets the fun stuff.

And now I need to speak to one person who has chosen to be totally ignorant and hateful, once again. You may call yourself the truth fairy and cast aspersions on the love filled life that is shared here at Casa de Cuckoo, but you and I both know that you couldn't speak the truth if your life depended on it and living with the biological sperm donor of my grands does not in any way give you the right to be such a stupid and ugly human. But truth fairy I forgive your ignorance and lack of manners, because it is the right thing to do.

Sorry lovelies, just something I had to do.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy, Happiest Birthday GK............

Yep it's Cinco de Mayo and that can only mean one thing. It's beautiful, talented, sweet natured, special human being GK's 14th Birthday.


Can't believe it. The time has raced past and we should still be enjoying the Backyardigans and Winnie the Pooh. But now it's the Nerd Herd Boys and getting ready to go to a super charter High School in the fall.

Have I told you what an amazing human being you are??????????????? Well, you truly are.

A bazillion hugs, Oma

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just checking in........

Been almost a week and so I thought I would check in with all of you. I'm beginning to question this elusive season called Spring. And you must throw in the fact that I am anxious to see my green friends growing in the straw bales and there you have my situation. I know it is folly to expect that the calendar would indicate the temperatures but hey, I was optimistic.

All the little seedlings were ready to go outside. As a matter of fact they were getting quite leggy as this house has crap sun exposure for starting seeds, but I digress. So we put out the little sweeties a little deeper so they wouldn't sway so much. And what do you know but Old Man Winter reared his global warming head and we had freezing temps for 3 nights and 35 mph sustained winds with gusts of up to 57. So I go out expecting the worst from the weatherman's forecast and what do I spy???????????

poor empty tomato bed

5 out of 5 pumpkins chugging along in the front brass bed. 1 out of 5 zucchini, 0 out of 5 watermelon, 0 out of 5 peppers and 1 lone cantaloupe. Never mind about the tomatoes. Without meaning to, because "do do" occurs, Shelley knocked the tomato tray of seedlings to the floor and hurt their feelings so bad that none came up. I started a new batch but......I feel like Charlie Brown, I'm tomato doomed.

my brave little zucchini

So I spent some time this morning looking online and calling around to see if we had any nurseries here that were selling organic tomato plants. Yep, not the Peppermint and Gypsy varieties I had in mind but, I'll take what I can get. Right?

If I were to look at this in a hopeful way, I could say that we might be rolling in pumpkins which might be a fabulous thing. We generally spend a small fortune on pumpkins come October, so that in and of itself could be a win/win.


5 little pumpkins sitting in the bed..........(yep there is a rhyme like that)
Speaking of pumpkins when we were planting said pumpkin plants on Easter day, the less than 2 year old grand son of a neighbor and the neighbor were walking by. There is just something about GK that little kids are attracted to and this little fella was no exception to the rule. He broke from his Grandpa and came up to see the sweet smiling, long legged teen. He babbled something to her and she said sure, come look at the garden bed. They had this long discussion, in an unknown tongue to this Olde Broad's ears, and when his Grandpa beckoned him to continue on the walk, GK told he and his Grandpa to come back in October and he could have one of the pumpkins. The little cutie pie clapped his hands and walked down the street just beaming and yakking away.

See there, the brass bed pumpkin patch has already done it's job.........a happy little human critter. And GK was pretty excited too. Sometimes I have to watch myself around her. I could easily get lost in my admiration of what a beauty and charmer she is. Now don't get me wrong she is only a teenager, ick, but she is also so kind, warm, open and giving.

I think the 4 year difference in their ages, made GK a mini Mom to Ry and that has had a huge influence on her feeling about little ones. She is one of those females who giggles when she sees a baby and just goes bonkers for toddlers. I know I have told you about her love of working with Downs Syndrome children at the Albuquerque Therapeutic Recreation Program and that was as a camper when she went with Ry. She only has to wait until next summer to actually get paid and join the staff of the summer program. This year Ry will go alone (he's ready) and GK will take some online classes and babysit me.

We have lots of "let's find a barn and put on a show" fantasy photo shoots to do (lots of dress up), she has vowed to help with the garden and I'm pretty sure she and her Nerd Herd will want to hang out at the pool or mall or maybe if I'm really lucky, they might choose here, doing what 9th grade kids do......make most adults cringe.

So I've skipped from my irk about it being too windy to plant anymore and too cold to expect any little plants to survive so I will settle into sewing some fitted diapers for a certain Acorn baby who will come to grace the world in the late summer.

And while I'm at it I'll be glad the buds on my white peach tree survived and look at the tiny little fuzzy bundles of "to be" yumminess.


What are you planning for Spring and Summer? I'd love to hear all about it.

Smooches and Squoozes, Oma Linda

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When the smell was new............

Before I started school, there were 4 of us girls within the neighborhood who would get together to play so that 3 of the 4 Mom's could have some time without kids. It was a traveling play date held once a week. There was myself, Renee', Vivian and Andrea. Our Mom's were a group of friends who were navigating the 50's as best as they could. And that's a whole other story.


The sweet yellow straw at with pristine white daisies with yellow centers all around the brim seemed to defy gravity on the head of my playmate Andrea. This privileged and spoiled young child always had the newest fashions from Fedway Department Store and  she always wore the highest pony tail that was still considered a pony tail and not a bun. Andrea with her beautiful long legs and slim waist always looked like the Betsy McCall doll that she taunted the rest of us girls from the neighborhood with, when we were dropped off at her house for a day of dress up, playing dolls and watching Andrea show off her latest and best.

When I pointed out that Barbie had the pony tail and that her precious Betsy McCall had a bob, she slowly removed her straw hat, undid her pony tail and jumped at me with hate in her eyes. I squealed and turned to run but forgot I was up against the dark pink, light pink striped wall of her bedroom and totally knocked myself out as I collided with said pink blockade.

When I woke up Mrs. Hernandez was applying a cold wash cloth to my forehead and scolding Andrea. Mrs. H told me that Nomie, their maid had already called my Mom and that she would be there soon to pick me up and she added that she was so sorry that Andrea had been naughty.

Not as sorry as I was, I thought to myself. I looked in the direction of the glare she had just delivered and Andrea had tears in her eyes but when her Mom looked back at me, Andrea stuck her tongue out at me and then smiled. This girl had brat down to a T.

I decided right then that my Mom's pick of friends for me was not all it was cracked up to be. She might want to be part of Mrs. H's friends but Andrea and I were through. This wasn't the first time my mouth had gotten me in trouble with Andrea and I was sure that it would not be the last. And Andrea had a thing for making me pay with physical attacks. It wasn't that I couldn't fight, I just hated it. My brother had given me a few lessons in punching so that I didn't have to be afraid, but I still didn't like the feeling of hurting someone else. I was beginning to think I might have to change my way of thinking.

By the time my Mom came to pick me up, Mrs. H had packed me a "care package" of the treats and sweets that we were going to have and a wondrous hat box with small pink roses printed paper on it. The handle was a silky rope of a light spring green that matched the foliage of the delicate rosebuds. It was going to be mine, not the mean eyed Andrea's. I can't tell you the feeling of victory I felt in my 5 year old gut. But as we left, I waved at the Hernandez's and felt like I was the winner of some special prize.

When we got home, my Mom said I had to stay awake, be close to where she was so she could keep an eye on me and that I could bring something into the kitchen table to play with while she finished the laundry. I took the hat box and my Muffie doll with some clothes. Took my place at the table. I opened up the hatbox and inside was Andrea's new hat. Or rather my new hat. I was shocked. I guess Mrs. H was trying to make up for her daughter's bad behavior with a bribe, which I gladly accepted. I pulled the lovely daisied hat up to my nose and smelled the newness of it. It was a combination of straw, fabric and nanny, nanny, boo boo that I smelled back then when the smell was new.

That hat is a million years old now, but every time I lay eyes on it's beauty, I pull it to my nose and I expect to smell victory. It has lost it's new scent but that is how I came to be addicted to hat boxes. Who knows what you might find inside a round "wonder box" that could change your outlook on spoiled rotten children or just life, for that matter.

The names in this story were not changed to protect anyone. I don't expect that Ms. Andrea ever gave me or that hat incident a second thought. Her reign of terror came to a close soon after when we started school at St. Vincent's Girls Academy....but that's another story as well.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kavetching.........with Oma

Sunday noonish, right after the great confetti incident in the backyard, we were lounging about in PJ's thinking of what nonsense we wanted to perpetrate on the world. GK stopped by the kitty tree to love on Uma, the black cat who now has armpits that look like Chewbacca the Wookie was her Dad. When Uma turned her head towards GK copious amounts of drool spread down to the floor. GK's first instinct was to smell her breath......because of Cybella and her renal failure last year. No smell and she was perky and alert......albeit very, very wet.

We kept a close watch on her and by 2 it was evident that something was amiss. She was almost floating in her drool. We packed up and headed for the Emergency Clinic, cuz that's where everyone wants to be on a holiday, don't ya know.

OUR BLACK CAT......uh maybe not
I had a suspicion that Ms. Uma had followed through with her inventory check of all the houseplants in my cubby hole. I had to shoo her out and off several times on Saturday night when I was turning off my computer. I've had the same houseplants, except for the new one SM gave me for my BD for at least 10 years. And with that said, I must also say that I have seen all my cats graze on the snake plant stubs (where you cut the plant when it gets leggy and shove that part back in the dirt and the other part just hardens and becomes sticks). The cats have sorta cleaned their teeth on it. But the ones up high are there because I have never been sure if they would be harmful. Actually, I really never even gave it a thought until we were getting ready to go to the vet. I took parts of the plants and was prepared.

I know that all lilies are lethal to cats. I haven't had lillies, even the flowers in bouquets in my house in 30 years for that very reason. I know that diffenbachia (dumb cane) is lethal. But I had no idea about the night blooming cereus, pregnant onion or snake plant. But we sure found out about them from the AAHA poison hot line. Each of these plants can cause gastric distress, severe drooling and the pregnant onion can cause heart arrhythmia.

The clinic put Uma on IV, kept her overnight and bright and early this morning called and let us know she was fine and we could come and get her. I was so panicked because I felt so responsible for her dilemma and GK was very upset. Understandably but still it was kinda misplaced anger and hard to deal with. As Shelley tried desperately to calm both of us (poor thing), she explained, "shit happens". Which at that moment, neither of us could claim as the truth. Moving right along.............

I know you have all had experiences with health workers, animal health workers and others in a stress situation. I know we all have horror stories and hero stories to tell. I just thought I'd share a major gripe I have about life when it comes to crisis moments.

I took my hearing ear human (Shelley) with me so that someone could hear the words being spoken.
I am pleasant and understanding when in crisis mostly because I have been trained by life to throw up or cry later.
I try to take people as they come even if they are rude but 
I don't do well with people who are confrontational when it really isn't needed or called for in a situation.

We entered the vet's office. The admission person asked for the information. When given, she immediately said, "oh that's a lily and that's really terrible". Thank you for that.

We had to call the poison control ourselves (because we were told it would be cheaper if we did) and were on the phone for 45 minutes.

Gave the clinic the case number and information that we were told. Saw the vet and the first thing she tells us is she was given different information. In a tone that indicated that we were booger eating morons. Then this female with no people skills tells us that they would treat Uma for all of the plants because she didn't know which one Uma ingested. I told her neither did we, that's why I brought them in. She said I only brought in one and didn't know what I was talking about..............never mind the blah, blah, blah. She was frickin rude and disrespectful and dismissive.

Poor GK, she was mad. I was more understanding of lack of "bed side manner" but offended and still put off. GK didn't want to leave Uma with "that vet". Oh hell, what a nightmare. Shelley and I explained to her that we knew the woman would be a better vet than people person......but I felt like I was shining her on with the story of the Easter Bunny, ya know?

Shelley, ever the optimists consoled both of us and we waited for an evening call from the clinic. Dr. I have no tact, called and I couldn't get to my phone quickly enough. She left a message but I called back because I had a question. When I got her on the line it was the same dismissive tone of voice like my status as a booger eating moron had not improved any. She also informed me that she had already left a message. That sentence should have a big ass period at the end.....cuz that's how she said it. Boom.

So I listened to the message. You know what I discovered? This woman left a rather soft spoken almost cordial recount of Uma's progress and what she had done to ease Uma's symptoms. I think it was easier for her to talk to the phone than to a person. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm....who do I know that is like that?

And until we went to pick up Uma and I got home and was able to process all of what happened and how I felt so much relief.....I didn't realize that I'm sure that what Shelley and I told GK about this vet was true. And my best mother of the grands and of me sometimes knew immediately. Because I live with a "letter of the law", don't always have the words to explain the situation, don't make eye contact with someone and have a hard time communicating, sometimes use the wrong facial expressions for the situation, good hearted, on the spectrum human......my RyLeigh.

I now have a sense that I should have been more aware of what was happening in our interaction with this vet and more understanding. As I look back at her behavior......I know she is a specially gifted human on the spectrum as well. And I'm grateful that she helped our Uma and a little ashamed of myself for not being in the moment and recognizing the signs.

But hell, I'm so invested in my animals, my grands and want only good things for those I love. . . I sometimes need a kick in the arse by the universe. Humility is a dish served in small doses. It always a good thing to pull your head out.......this being accompanied by a giant sucking sound.

Happy Monday..........and now I'm goin' to squooze the wookie cat, who just cost us a fortune (sigh).